Do you keep your kids away from other kids? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:37 AM
 
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No.

I'm something of a misanthrope but save drug trafficking and similar habits, my kid can pick her own friends. They are her friends- I don't have to like them!



Or, the kid said that, got hit, and shut up to finish the dinner in misery. I hate how when kids misbehave and are punished, it is somehow better than when they misbehave and are explained how to do it better. The behavior is the same!
Or the kid that said that was removed from the table and spent the rest of the night in their room, not getting another meal until breakfast.

I'd conform pretty quickly if I knew I would be hit and starved for trying to make myself heard and not just seen.

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Old 06-18-2009, 08:31 AM
 
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Moved to parenting, since this isn't really a homeschooling topic.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:18 AM
 
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Or the kid that said that was removed from the table and spent the rest of the night in their room, not getting another meal until breakfast.

I'd conform pretty quickly if I knew I would be hit and starved for trying to make myself heard and not just seen.
Yup. Most people I speak to were like me -- well behaved because the consequences sucked.

Aside from bullying or safety issues, I feel it is my job to work hard to instill our families values and morals and talk to ds about other behavior as much as possible so he is ready to deal with the world when he is out in it.

And frankly, obnoxious kids/lack of discipline comes in all forms, not just from public school families. I, personally, have observed negative behavior on the playground with the homeschool families.

I certainly do no think this is the case with all homeschool situations, I would never generalize like that.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Honestly, I can see keeping either of my kids away from other children... Unless the other child poses a serious risk to the physical safety of my child, I would rather they not learn to shun those who are different in their opinions or ideas.

I also agree with those who have said thus far that judging all the children in this generation (save for those select few who get deemed "ok") is a form of prejudice. You are judging everyone in a group based on the actions of a few and labelling good kids as "monsters" before you even meet them. Yes there are kids out there who are down right nasty, and there are parents who do nothing. But by far, most kids and parents are decent human beings.

As for previous generations being better... I believe it was Socrates who said "Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers."

Every single generation is going to complain about the younger generation. It's inevitable. It doesn't make it true though.

Given the OP described an entire generation the same way, I feel I should point out that when we have a preconcieved notion of how a group of people behave or what they are capable or incapable of, we tend to ignore that which doesn't fit into out opinion and obsess over that which does.

How do we expect children to learn to "stand on their own two feet" with their peers, if they are never given the chance to practice?
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Nope, because they need to learn and adapt and make choices, and they won't be living in my shadow. Yup, they pick up things and yup, it's unavoidable. It's all part of growing.

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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I just picked up a copy of "Hold on to Your Kids" and the author goes into detail about what I'm feeling...that kids these days aren't as well-mannered as previous generations. His theory is that children follow their peers instead of adults and therefore don't learn to listen to adults. This seems like it's really true of what I see going on. Kids believe other kids more than adults.
I've read this book. I never got the message "keep your kid away from kids". There is harm in either extreme.

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I don't really know what to do...I know it would be wrong to keep her completely from other kids, but it's very tempting until she's at an age when she can stand on her own two feet, understand what isn't right (behavior-wise), and follow her heart instead of just wanting to fit in.
You guide, teach, talk. You choose friends selectively. You trust your children to learn right from wrong in an imperfect world.

But, also, you realize that kids are kids, and your own children are not perfect. Your own children will have negative behaviors to share with others. Your own children will sometimes embarrass and frustrate you with their behavior. And that may help you have more patience for other people's children.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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My non-"heavily steeped in TV pop culture" son loved Power Rangers when he was 7, and his friends (4 homeschooled brothers) are really into Bakugan right now. It's normal for children to go through phases where they're totally into one thing or another.
we don't have cable & my ds is still in love with power rangers and bakugan, etc. he loves to watch toy reviews on youtube...especially in chinese and german. i finally bought him some of the toys. he also takes baths and pretends the water is a portal to the universe, lol.

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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No, though since my baby is very young (12 weeks today) I don't allow toddlers to grab at him or do anything that could harm him, obviously.
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ETA: OK, you have a three-year-old and one on the way? Am I reading that correctly? Three-year-olds imitate everything. I think it's definitely a great goal to foster friendships with people who are worthy of imitation, but seriously, I would not get bent out of shape over my three imitating another three. I think a more important lifeskill is to help them learn to sift through what's worthy of imitation and what isn't. Just my two cents.
No, she's 5 1/2. Still very into imitating though. Has trouble thinking for herself. That's what makes it challenging.

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Old 06-18-2009, 01:11 PM
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No, she's 5 1/2. Still very into imitating though. Has trouble thinking for herself. That's what makes it challenging.
IMO, she won't learn how to think for herself by being isolated, because then she won't be presented with any situations in which it would be necessary.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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My parents actively discouraged friendships for me and my siblings. My mom 'doesn't like other people's kids' and both parents are very introverted. They don't have adult friends and never did.

We were not often allowed to have friends over for playdates. When we lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, they were not usually let into our house although we were allowed to play with them outside or in their houses. When I did make friends at school and church, I would be invited over or on an outing with the friend's family, and then not be able to reciprocate. Friendships petered out fairly quickly as you might imagine, and I was never able to get into a clique or have a wider circle of friends until I got to high school and made a giant fuss about it.

My parents moved us to a rural, isolated area when I was in junior high and it was awful. They're happy there as they never have to see anyone but themselves, but it was so lonely and isolating for me and my brothers. We all moved out of there as soon as we possibly could.

I would never do this to a child. You don't have to constantly fill your house with other people's little horrors but surely not EVERY kid you come across is a tv-saturated, kool-aid swilling monster?

Mine are still young so I can pick their friends for now, but in the future I don't think that all their sweetness and light will be completely obliterated by an afternoon with a child who likes barbies.
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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You don't have to constantly fill your house with other people's little horrors but surely not EVERY kid you come across is a tv-saturated, kool-aid swilling monster?
I'm sure there are plenty that aren't but I couldn't imagine discouraging a friendship with an otherwise good kid just because he or she watches a lot of TV and drinks kool-aid (both of which I did as a kid, actually). People can have some weird standards
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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Actually one of my great pleasures lately has been to watch my son learn to interact with all kinds of children and to start to make special friends.

Do I want my son to be pleasant and well mannered? Well yes, I guess, in a way I do. But why do I care? Well - of course - so that when he is grown he will be able to make the friends and relationships that he wants to make.

So for me, keeping him away from the very thing that good manners and an awareness of others is supposed to give you - friends and relationships beyond your blood relatives - simply doesn't compute.

I will also admit that my end goal is not to have an obedient, compliant adult but a thoughtful, loving, and resourceful adult. So really it's not a huge deal to me if he picks up (and discards) some childish bad habits along the way.

I guess also I just don't get the fear here. My son is almost 4, and he has occasionally picked up behaviour I didn't love, and we've worked on it together. I consider that a far more powerful experience than not ever starting it at all. I also see how connected he is to my husband and I and how strongly we influence him at this age. I can't imagine that a few friends are going to impact on that over the next - oh - 5-7 years.

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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This thought has crossed my mind, but if we agree to this, doesn't that mean that spanking actually does work? I feel like, from my childhood of spanking, it just made me retaliate and act worse (though maybe later, not at that same moment).
Spanking does work for a lot of kids because it teaches fear. I've seen people smack their kids in front of me, and the child would stop the behavior immediately. The long-term effects aren't the issue here; you're talking about very short-term behavioral correction.

We don't spank because we're morally opposed to hitting, not because we believe it's ineffective. I don't care if an indisputable study came out saying that spanking was the best form of discipline, I still wouldn't use it.

Also, it's important to note that for many in our grandparents' generation, especially middle and upper classes, children wouldn't have eaten at the table with their parents. They often ate in the kitchen or earlier than their parents, so even if you want to make a comparison (which is pretty weak on evidence anyway), you need to take into account the other social differences that affect the outcome.

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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Also, it's important to note that for many in our grandparents' generation, especially middle and upper classes, children wouldn't have eaten at the table with their parents. They often ate in the kitchen or earlier than their parents, so even if you want to make a comparison (which is pretty weak on evidence anyway), you need to take into account the other social differences that affect the outcome.
Oh yes definitely - when I used to go to my friends' houses for meals, we would be served a kids' meal at about 5 or 5:30, in the kitchen - usually hamburger based, or similar - basic, unfancy food.

When the adults had dinner it was usually at the kids' bedtime, in the dining room, with steak or something good that we weren't considered old enough to appreciate.

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Old 06-18-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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I'm sure there are plenty that aren't but I couldn't imagine discouraging a friendship with an otherwise good kid just because he or she watches a lot of TV and drinks kool-aid (both of which I did as a kid, actually). People can have some weird standards
To clarify, my point was that I don't think it's fair to isolate your child because other parents do not have the same views that you do. I will limit my sarcasm in future.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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To clarify, my point was that I don't think it's fair to isolate your child because other parents do not have the same views that you do. I will limit my sarcasm in future.
You know, I started to edit my post earlier to say that I wasn't referring to you directly and that I knew you were trying to tell the OP that there are other kids out there, no need to condemn a whole generation (and perhaps koolaid was mentioned by others in the thread, I know TV was), but it just seemed clunky and I'd been neglecting the dinner I had cooking in the oven so I just left my post as it was.
Just wanted to let you know that I did realize my post might come across wrong, sorry I didn't have time to edit properly.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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No, she's 5 1/2. Still very into imitating though. Has trouble thinking for herself. That's what makes it challenging.
Yeah, for some reason I thought it was 2007. Sorry about that. But you know, 5's do that too sometimes. Kids in general do it. I think you will serve your children much better to help them cultivate friendships with children you can all enjoy rather than painting all kids with the "I don't like children" brush and keeping them away from other people. Just my opinion.

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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There are some kids that we don't associate because their family values are so different from ours as to be offensive (and I'm talking serious stuff like racism, homophobia, anti-semitism).

There are lots of children that my kids play with that I find incredibly annoying but I don't keep my children from them.

I have my "house rules" which I enforce when any kids are in my home. To use the OP's example, a child who announced that he found my dinner DISGUSTING would be informed that we do not insult the cook when we have been invited to the table and that he can refrain from those comments or leave.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:29 PM
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Heck yes I keep my daughter away from children I don't want her associating with. Do I keep her away from *all* children? No, of course not. There is a huge pool to pick from thankfully, as people are always having kids

I want to teach her when she is young that we don't choose to be in the company of people who are mean, or hurt her. We teach her that love is not hurt, and pain is not a loving action. If I condoned behavior toward our daughter that was disrespectful (more than developmentally appropriate isolated incidents that are dealt with gently but appropriately) then I would be teaching her it is okay to be friends with people who violated her space/body/things -- and I refuse to do that.

That having been said, I am not terribly rigid. I know 'kids will be kids' to a certain degree, so things like "this food is gross" for a 4 year old is similar to an adult saying "I don't prefer peas". They just have fewer filters. I wouldn't yank my kid from their presence forever over that, for example.

However, if someone is demeaning, physically or emotionally hurtful (again, more than the isolated few and far between incidents among small children) I will choose not to have dd in their presence and I will absolutely tell her (and their parents) why.

It is my job to model for her ways to respect herself and others and to protect her from situations where she is not being respected. There are more kids in the world, with parents who are trying to raise kind, compassionate, gentle, loving little people. You just have to find them.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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Heck yes I keep my daughter away from children I don't want her associating with. Do I keep her away from *all* children? No, of course not. There is a huge pool to pick from thankfully, as people are always having kids

I want to teach her when she is young that we don't choose to be in the company of people who are mean, or hurt her. We teach her that love is not hurt, and pain is not a loving action. If I condoned behavior toward our daughter that was disrespectful (more than developmentally appropriate isolated incidents that are dealt with gently but appropriately) then I would be teaching her it is okay to be friends with people who violated her space/body/things -- and I refuse to do that.

That having been said, I am not terribly rigid. I know 'kids will be kids' to a certain degree, so things like "this food is gross" for a 4 year old is similar to an adult saying "I don't prefer peas". They just have fewer filters. I wouldn't yank my kid from their presence forever over that, for example.

However, if someone is demeaning, physically or emotionally hurtful (again, more than the isolated few and far between incidents among small children) I will choose not to have dd in their presence and I will absolutely tell her (and their parents) why.

It is my job to model for her ways to respect herself and others and to protect her from situations where she is not being respected. There are more kids in the world, with parents who are trying to raise kind, compassionate, gentle, loving little people. You just have to find them.
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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There are some kids that we don't associate because their family values are so different from ours as to be offensive (and I'm talking serious stuff like racism, homophobia, anti-semitism).
Yes, this!

On the other end of the spectrum, we choose to continue to live in a big city with a lot of diversity because we want DD to grow up knowing that there are kids who are different because of their ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds, but very much equals with valid opinions and viewpoints...and, despite their cultural differences, have values very similar to our own.

DH and I don't concern ourselves with issues like manners, respect of adults, etc., because those things are learned at home and if taught effectively and lovingly, go with the child as he/she enters the world. It all starts at home, in my opinion. Some kids might rebel or imitate their peers, yes, but I think that lessons learned at home follow you throughout your life. I remember when I was little, that I desperately wanted to be like other people, but my parents insisted that I be myself and to value certain things. When I matured, however, I didn't want so much to be like other people. There's gotta be some value in learning to think for yourself despite the odds.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:54 AM
 
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My parents moved us to a rural, isolated area when I was in junior high and it was awful. They're happy there as they never have to see anyone but themselves, but it was so lonely and isolating for me and my brothers. We all moved out of there as soon as we possibly could.
my childhood was not as extreme, but had some similar elements. we lived in a more isolated part of town where a car was required to get anywhere, and both my parents worked. Most afterschool activities required transportation that I did not have.

So school was the only place I had any socializing, but since most school social circles are partially built by outside school socializing, I was seriously hindered and basically ostracized for most of late elementary -> middle school.

At home, the only playmate I had was my brother, who is 4 years younger and very significantly different than me in interests and personality. My mom would arrange weekend playdates about once every two months or so, and that was IT.

I watched a lot of TV and read a lot of books. I was bored to tears most of the time.

For a highly social person, this set up is torture. I am pretty sure I was clinically depressed for most of my late childhood as a direct result of being so isolated and socially ostracized. It took me a very long time to learn the skills I missed from being part of peer-based social circles.

Restricting your kids to only certain ones you approve of? Sure, people have been doing that since the dawn of time. How restrictive you get and the criteria is personal preference and your values.

But restricting your kids to ALL kids as a rule, with occasional exceptions? Dangerous. Very very dangerous.

And your DD will misbehave at times. She may get the idea from another child or she may come up with it herself. But I get in your OP that you view most of her misbehavior as
"outside influences" - but that is not fair to her. She won't be perfect and needs to push boundaries by misbehaving now and again.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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I just picked up a copy of "Hold on to Your Kids" and the author goes into detail about what I'm feeling...that kids these days aren't as well-mannered as previous generations. His theory is that children follow their peers instead of adults and therefore don't learn to listen to adults. This seems like it's really true of what I see going on. Kids believe other kids more than adults.
As you yourself said, I mean this in the nicest possible way. But honestly, every generation believes that the younger generation is less well-mannered than their own. As long as there have been essay writers, there have been essayists bemoaning the ill-mannered state of "today's" kids. I seem to remember reading an essay from Cicero in Latin class about the boorishness of the younger generation.

Other kids will always be both bad and good influences on your kid. Some kids at my son's preschool have introduced him to the idea of playing "bad guys," and that annoys me. But that also gives me a chance to talk to him about why I don't like playing "bad guys" or why my rules for roughhousing are no hitting, no real hurting, and when one person says stop we stop. In the same way, other kids at preschool have taught my son that it's not the end of the world when someone wants to do something other than roughhousing. Or they've taught him silly games that don't occur to me.

For me, I think that the overall benefits of being around other kids & parents are worth the occasional drawback of temporarily learning an undesirable behavior.

That said, there are individual kids that I limit my son's time with because the unpleasantness outweighs the fun/learning.

If I felt that every child my kid met was an unmitigated "bad influence," I would first examine my own thinking and expectations of normal behavior for that age range, and then consider seeking out intentional communities that matched my views a little better.
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